10 Questions You Should Ask an Urologist before a Treatment Abroad
Urological problems are possibly the worst kinds of problems that a man can face, simply because it is so embarrassing to talk about them with anyone, let alone a doctor who you are not familiar with. However, talking about these problems and solving them if and when they arise is of utmost importance, as a lot of these problems can have far-reaching consequences. If you are thinking about going abroad for a treatment (which you might because of privacy or economic reasons), then you should explore the variety of different doctors available to you.
The best way to make the best choice is to consult with the doctors on your shortlist, ask them a few questions and see what answers you get. The questions upon which to evaluate the doctor should be as follows.
1. Can you describe the surgery and its effects on me?
The doctor should be able to describe in clear and understandable fashion what the procedure that you are about to undergo is all about, how it is done, and what its effects should be, i.e. how it will make you feel better. While using big words may make the doctor seem more trustworthy, the ones that are able to explain it all are actually better as they actually try to help you understand. Any doctor can use big medical terms, but those who really know their stuff know how to easily explain it.
2. Is it possible to watch the condition and delay the surgery?
Some people are uncomfortable with having a surgery or a similar invasive treatment for their urology problems. Sometimes, the doctors can suggest just waiting and monitoring the condition before intervening if necessary. Some conditions can stagnate and even go into remission on their own. The doctor should be able to calculate the risks of such a move and recommend whether or not that is a good idea for your problem.
3. Are there some other ways to improve my condition?
Surgery might not be the only solution to your problems. With the advent of technological advancements in medicine, there are now other ways to treat same problems. Be sure to explore other options before committing to the knife, as some might be more successful, some might be less invasive and some might take a lot less to recover from.
4. Can you tell me how quickly my condition can progress?
The doctors will never be able to give you a straight answer to this, as this is something that is highly uncertain for all patients. However, based on his/her previous experience with other patients who have had the same condition, he/she might be able to give you an estimate about the progression of the disease. This will give you an idea about how quickly you should act.
5. What are the side-effect chances for the surgery?
Every surgery and/or medical procedure is bound to have some chance of side effects and urology procedures are not different. Don’t believe the doctor who claims that there are no side-effects, no matter the treatment, as it means he’s just lying to get you on board. Instead, go for the doctor who is prepared to tell you all about the risks of the surgery and how it can go wrong, as well as how those side-effects can be treated and nullified.
6. How fast will I recover?
The recovery time for the procedure depends on the procedure itself. Some will have you walking home by the end of the next day, while recovery from others might last for a few weeks. You need to know this in order to arrange your affairs in order and to prepare yourself for the week or two off, if there is a need.
7. How many procedures like this have you performed?
When it comes to medical procedures of any type, experience of the doctor is one of the most deciding factors. A good urologist will have done the treatment that you need a large number of times, so he will not be surprised by any eventualities that might occur during the procedure. If you feel that the doctor is inexperienced in the procedure, it might be safer to move on to the next one.
8. What would you think about me asking for a second opinion?
Any good doctor will not have any problems about you asking for a second opinion. After all, they know that a second or a third look and opinion might help discover all the little details about the condition that you are having. If a doctor is cagey about you asking for another opinion, or he/she thinks that they know enough so that you don’t need another look, then that doctor should probably not be worth your trust.
9. Is there anything I need to do pre-surgery in order to prepare?
The doctor should properly instruct and prepare you for the surgery or the procedure that you are going to have. This means telling you whether you should change your diet in any way, whether you should or shouldn’t take any medications a few days before the procedure, whether you should bank some blood in case you need a transfusion, etc. Good preparation minimizes the risks of something going wrong during or after the procedure. A good urologist will also have you consult the anesthesiologist that will be attending the procedure so that he could give you some advice, as well.
10. How much will the procedure cost?
Since you are thinking about going abroad, you should know that your insurance will not cover the surgery. This makes it important to be familiar with the cost of the procedure. Be sure to ask what is included in the procedure package, so that you know how much extra charges you will have to consider. Of course, not all doctors are familiar with the prices of the packages (as that is not their job), but a good one will respond within a day or two with proper prices, after consultation with his colleagues.
Finding a good urologist can be a bit hard for male patients, as they might be embarrassed to talk about their problems, especially with doctors they do not know and trust yet. However, if you wish to go abroad to have an urology procedure done, then you absolutely have to talk to as many doctors as you can and ask them the proper questions, so that you can make a good, informed decision about which doctor will be treating you.
If you have any questions regarding the procedures or the packages, or you have already made up your mind and chosen a treatment, feel free to contact us!